We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The convener of the Health and Sport Committee, Neil Findlay MSP, defended the proposed policies: ‘Scotland has not previously been afraid to take the initiative to tackle health-related issues when other interventions have failed. This is why this committee is asking for a bold approach to tackling obesity.’ This, in all its overtly protective language, is a call for further intrusion into the life and liberty of Scots. We don’t need to be subject to gross social engineering. We don’t need to be treated like ignorant, gullible pawns, shuffling brainlessly towards Scotmid for another high-calorie fix. We drink alcohol because we like alcohol. We eat fatty foods because they’re tasty. We drive cars because they’re useful. We don’t need the obesity-obsessed overlords in Holyrood lecturing us on our lifestyle choices.

Our message to politicians like Findlay should be clear: get stuffed. Who knows, it might make their policies taste less sour.

Charlie Peters

30 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Yes indeed – the government of Scotland is never “afraid” to order people about in any aspect of their lives.

    England is bad enough – but the Scottish government is even worse (they make a religious cult out of statism).

    I remember that Scotland used to boast that there were a higher percentage of people in public housing than in some Eastern European nations (for example Poland) – which I thought was an odd thing to boast about.

    The great claim to fame of modern Glasgow is the lowest life expectancy in Europe – thus proving how well these “bold public health initiatives” have worked.

    And this is the land of Adam Smith. Adam Ferguson, Thomas Reid, Dugald Stewart, Noah Porter, James McCosh…….

    What went wrong?

  • The pretext of course for the interference is that the personal problem is the State’s problem since the State provides ‘free’ healthcare (and has a ‘public health duty’).

    It would be nice if someone were to say that the proper riposte to that is for the Adipose Hitlers to embrace freedom and responsbility and to say to to the hypothetical lamenting fatty: ‘You’re a fat bastard, it’s your own fault, sort it and don’t come crying to me.‘.

  • Raymond

    Jesus … that video was scary. Mere words would not be able to puncture that cultish level of self-regarding piety. It’s utterly nauseating.

  • TimR

    And this from the land that invented the deep fried Mars bar. How did this happen? 😀

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Paul, a prophet (or profit) is never honoured in his own country! We suffer from something similar in Australia. If an Australian goes overseas (to forrin lands!) then the words of that Australian are worth more than an untravelled local!

  • Flubber

    Re: The Malik video.

    They really do want anarchy and civil war. No wonder they want mass Islamic immigration. They need stormtroopers.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    You can fight this with arguments about genetic diversity. A scientist was shocked, some years ago, to find a man who could eat all the fatty foods put in front of him, and not get fat! This was in Italy. The scientist found that this man, and his children, had a slightly different stomach acid to ‘normal’, one which was better able to break down fatty foods. So evolution has come up with a fat-fighting gene, and the Minister in Scotland would be harming his health if he tried to standardise foods. Another Russian was found to have four kidneys- which was why he was better at drinking than his friends! Isn’t genetic discrimination illegal?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nicholas, re your final sentence at 12:53 am:

    Tell it to God.

    . . .


    Well isn’t she just the world’s Most Virtuous Human Being! I don’t know how we all got along Before There Was Her [sic].

    Still, maybe she made the video as a homework assignment for her kindergartedn-teacher training. (Full disclosure: I couldn’t be bothered to stay for the whole show.)

  • TimR

    The first humanoids were lactose intolerant.

  • bobby b

    Damned lactists.

  • Stonyground

    Does Scotland have an actual obesity problem? I only ask because, as a super fit 58 year old with a 32″ waist, I am apparently overweight. This is according to the favoured metric of the health fascists, the BMI.

  • I don’t know about Scotland, but using the infallible Market I can divine that there are indeed more fatties than there used to be. I can no longer buy trousers that fit! I am a 30″ waist long (or 30-32 if you like) and have been all my adult life. I used to be able to walk into any clothes shop and walk out with a pair, now I have terrible trouble, all the trousers are made for fat men.

    None of this in any way implies that something ought to be done, or even if it did it is the government that ought to be doing it of course.

  • NickM

    BMI is utter junk science. I’m not superfit but also have a 32″ waist. My wife is fit and I bet she could be classified as overweight purely because she’s curvacious but 5’1″. One of her hobbies is running half-marathons.

    What makes one fit and/or healthy (not entirely the same thing) is very complicated and a very crude and simplistic calculation is utterly useless. It is absolutely just bullying. It’s just like calling the chunky kid in the playground “fatty”.

    Another thing about my wife is she hated PE at school with a passion. She took-up running off her own bat in her ’30s. The more the squeeze us the more we just do our own thing.

  • Mr Ed

    Is this site now ‘Slimizdata‘?

  • Cal Ford

    Wh00ps, try going into TopMan and finding a pair of trousers 34 and up.

  • Point taken-that was the only shop I didn’t go in at Bluewater. Too old.

  • Natz Scotland is a couch potato droning on about how he’ll win the London marathon once those English get out of the way. It is a movement whose government runs a record percentage deficit, whose country’s number one industry (oil) is in a serious downturn that is not ending soon (luckily whisky is doing better), droning on that it would make Scotland a land of great wealth were it not for Westminster.

    As to “what went wrong” with the country of Adam Smith, understand the experience that taught Smith: a generation after the 1707 union, he saw that Scotland was being better governed by a more distant, less interested, more minimalist government than it had been when it governed itself. This is a message the natz cannot endure.

    Remember also that the current state is the end result of a long Labour strategy. Labour used to own Scotland, politically. Their vote was very efficiently distributed geographically, but they wanted more and decided that pouring a little nationalism into their socialism would help; with keen media allies, they told us it was not Scottish to vote Tory. They taught Scots to practice identity politics: you can be white, male, even working class, yet be a ‘victim’ in the new reality if you’re a Scot oppressed by the English.

    To their great surprise, the rewards of this strategy accrued only slowly in the Thatcher years and were still disappointing in 1992, but Labour kept on pouring and in 1997 it delivered big time for them. Since it had worked so well, they kept on pouring. They were so surprised when Scotland’s national socialist party (complete with its late thirties and wartime past of swastikas and pro-nazi sentiment) cut a key part of their base vote out from under them.

    I would love it if my country were not a couch potato – if it had the ability to stand on its own two feet (not least because such a situation would likely kill the desire to be independent). I think (and also hope) that the natz are past their peak, but they are dying only slowly as yet.

    Meanwhile, they will continue to ensure that the state puts on weight; anti-fat initiatives will be the least of it.

  • Ben

    Governments’ nutrition advice would make a good case study on why nanny state interference in people’s daily lives is so wrong. Ever since governmental dietary guidelines were introduced, obesity, diabetes and other epidemics have escalated.

  • John K

    Once you create a pretendy wee parliament, you will find it legislates furiously to prove the rightness of its existence. If it does not legislate, what was the point of it? Was £400 million spent on a weird parliament building for nothing? (Yes, it was).

    Thus, Scotland now has lower drink driving limits than the rest of thr UK, just to be different.

    Thus, Scotland has now introduced a requirement that owners of airguns need a licence. There are an estimated 500,000 airguns in Scotland, but only 10,000 have applied for a licence. At a stroke, the Scottish “government” has created 490,000 criminals, when before there were none. Now that’s power!

  • John B

    It is almost funny listening to these clowns.

    ‘Scotland has not previously been afraid to take the initiative to tackle health-related issues when other interventions have failed.’

    Because whereas other interventions have failed this one will succeed and if it doesn’t we will not be afraid to take the initiative where the previous intervention failed, and if that one fails we won’t be afraid to take the initiative… da capo al fine.

    Perish the thought that they might examine why previous interventions failed – because they cannot succeed – because Human Nature.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    John K’s comment made me Google the Scottish Parliament building. Good Lord!

  • Julie near Chicago

    PfP: Good lord! I wonder if you feel nauseous when you’re actually inside the thing. :>(

  • Julie, the Scottish parliament building went 11 times over budget. Sadly, that has proved a precedent for most of what is initiated within it.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes PersonFromPorlock and Julie – the Scottish Parliament is a horrible building, I have in Edinburgh – it is a beautiful setting (much better than London or Cardiff) the Scottish Parliament is a calculated insult to the beauty of the city.

    And Niall is correct – it was horribly expensive and it is filled with idiots. Not just the ordinary lowness of politicians – a special version of it. And this includes the Conservative Party members – who are just about as P.C. as everyone else there.

    For example they are all really “Remainers” – one is about as likely to get someone who really believes in independence from the European Union in the Scottish Parliament as in a BBC audience – or BBC “discussion panel”.

  • pete

    The liberty of the Scots to get fat, booze too much and smoke like chimneys also means I’m compelled to pay towards their health care much more than I should need to.

    Where is my freedom in all this?

  • Where is my freedom in all this?

    To state the obvious, the liberty of the Scots to get fat, booze too much and smoke like chimneys does not abridge your liberty one iota.

    …also means I’m compelled to pay towards their health care much more than I should need to.

    And thus it is the NHS & welfare state that is fucking you over. Argue against that.

  • Mr Ed


    Where is my freedom in all this?

    Your freedom should be to say to those who wish to restrict the freedom of the Scots, and yours, to get lost and stop using porkers as a pretext for taxes and tyranny. It’s not the Fatties’ fault that the tyrants are after you, unless they voted for the Health Nazis, or perhaps didn’t vote against them. A rallying call is needed:

    “You’ll have to take my deep-fried Mars Bar out of my cold, dead, podgy hand!”

  • Watchman

    Mr Ed,

    To be fair, if someone wants you to take a deep-fried Mars Bar out of their cold dead hand, it is a matter of very-limited patience in most cases before you get the chance (assuming they are eating a supply of the things). Although if they do stay alive a couple of days by only holding it, the whole greasy molten mess is going to escape sooner or later anyway.

    None of which says the state can intervene (albeit we maybe should have some system for ensuring dropped deep-fried mars bars don’t litter the streets if this becomes a popular form of protest).

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed,

    “…unless they voted for the Health Nazis, or perhaps didn’t vote against them.”



    Although, one exception: Where the candidates/alternatives are in their likely actions equally unspeakable in the would-be voter’s judgment: there’s NO pertinent criterion to use in choosing. Tossing a coin is NOT a proper way to choose.

    In that case, it seems to me he ought properly to abstain.